Hip Conditions Q & A

What Causes Hip Conditions?

The hip is a ball and socket joint that attaches the head of the femur (upper leg bone) into the socket of the os coxa (hip bone). This joint allows us to be mobile and is arguably the most important joint within the body. With such significance and the constant use of this joint, the hip is susceptible to many different types of conditions. Pain in the hips can derive from the joint itself. In addition, due to the complexity of the hip served as a connective chain between your upper body and lower body, hip pain can stem from surrounding areas such as the back or legs.

The most prevalent causes of hip conditions are:

  • Repetitive Stress: Pain in the hip usually occurs when muscles and/or tendons are overworked due to repetitive stress.
  • Tendinitis: Tendinitis occurs when a tendon attaching a muscles to a bone becomes irritated or inflamed. Tendinosis- sometimes called chronic tendinitis, chronic tendinopathy, or chronic tendon injury, is damage to a tendon at a cellular level (the suffix “osis” implies a pathology of chronic degeneration without inflammation). Like bursitis, tendinopathy is also commonly caused through repetitive stress to the hips or strenuous lifting or prolonged sitting, . Tendinopathy may be caused by certain medications (antibiotics) as well.
  • Muscle Strains: A hip strain occurs when one of the muscles supporting the hip joint is stretched beyond its limit or torn. Strains may be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the extent of the injury. A severe strain can limit your ability to move your hip.
  • Arthritis: (Osteoarthritis): This is a degenerative condition that naturally occurs as we age. With time osteoarthritis will gradually worsens and is more commonly associated with elderly patients. The hip joint may wear down due to age and be more susceptible to injury.
  • Trauma: Traumatic injuries related to falls and sports accidents may also be the reason for pain within the hip or groin regions.
  • Bursitis: Occurs when the bursa or fluid between the joints becomes inflamed. Upon movement,  bursa allows for bones to move with reduced friction. Bursitis can be caused through excessive use of the hip and legs.
  • Bone Fractures:  May result from traumatic injuries to the hip bony structures (femur or pelvis).  A fracture will have an impact on the entire hip joint as the bio-mechanics of the hip will be altered during and after the healing process of the fracture.
  • Dysplasia: (Hip Dysplasia, Developmental Hip Dysplasia or Congenital Hip Dysplasia) is a congenital (birth defect) or developmental deformation or misalignment of the hip joint or other developmental conditions.

What are the Symptoms of Hip Conditions?

Some of the most common and noticeable signs and symptoms in hips conditions are:

  • Low back pain
  • Discomfort or pain in low back and/or hips when the hips are flexed/extended (lifting weights, sitting, standing, running or walking)
  • Pain in groin when lying down
  • An audible click when moving your leg
  • Redness in the hip area
  • Swelling may also be present surrounding that area
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Stiff Joints
  • Joint Pain and Tenderness